Today at Hollin Hall Automotive we want to talk with you about a very important safety issue. This automotive safety warning is coming from a very unusual source: fire fighting experts. You’ve probably heard of E-85 gasoline being offered in the Washington D.C. area. Some newer vehicle models are specifically built to run on E-85 – the rest are not.
Does your vehicle use E-85 gasoline? Bring it down to Hollin Hall Automotive at 7926 Fort Hunt Road in Alexandria, VA 22308 to find out, or give us a call to make an appointment by calling 703-765-3722.
E-85 gasoline has been developed to fight air pollution and reduce oil consumption. E-85 fuel is a mix of 85% ethanol, a grain-base alcohol, and 15% gasoline. So-called Flex-Fuel vehicles are designed to use either normal gasoline or E-85 gas. The result is lower harmful exhaust emissions to our local Washington D.C. community.
All gas engines can run with up to 10% ethanol and in fact a lot of gasoline sold in the Alexandria VA area does contain some ethanol. The problem comes when well meaning people without Flex Fuel certified vehicles put E-85 into the tank.
At a 15% concentration, the potential for problems arises. Because of the chemical differences between ethanol and gasoline, special seals and gaskets are needed for Flex Fuel vehicles in Alexandria VA. In a normal engine, the ethanol in E-85 gas will eat away important seals and gaskets. This leads to gas and oil leaks.
You can imagine the fire hazard caused by leaking gasoline. Fire fighting experts caution consumers to only use E-85 if they know they vehicle is certified to handle it. They expect vehicle fires to increase because of using the wrong fuel in non-Flex Fuel vehicles.
So are people who don’t have a Flex Fuel vehicle but use E-85 to help the environment actually putting themselves at risk? Yes. In fact, service and repair centers in Alexandria VA are being warned to purchase fire extinguishers that use the special foam needed to extinguish ethanol fires as a precaution in case starting-up an ethanol damaged engine leads to a fire.
Obviously, this isn’t something you want to have in your Alexandria VA garage at home, either. If you have a Flex-Fuel certified vehicle, feel free to protect the environment by using E-85 gasoline. If not – please do not use E-85 in an engine that’s designed to run on unleaded gasoline only. At Hollin Hall Automotive we are concerned about your safety. If you have questions or want to find out how to determine if your vehicle can safely use E-85, go to www.e85fuel.com for more resources.
Take a look at our attached auto safety tips video from Auto Tips Videos.
Posted in the Warranty category
If you own a VA vehicle with a warranty, beware! Many dealers and manufacturers suggest that you need to get your maintenance services at a dealership in order to keep your warranty. That simply isn't true! You can have your vehicle serviced at your trusted, local service center without affecting your warranty. A federal law, called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, prohibits a manufacturer from voiding your warranty just because you got parts or services from a non-dealer. In fact, a manufacturer can't require you to use their brand of oil filters, lubricant, or any other part in order to maintain your warranty protection. This protection is true for aftermarket extended warranties purchased on new or used vehicles. This protection also applies to leased vehicles. There are similar laws in Canada as well.
If a manufacturer can prove that the replacement parts or service lead to a vehicle failure, they can void a portion of the warranty. Of course, Hollin Hall Automotive uses quality parts and fluids that meet or exceed manufacturers' specifications. (See www.hollinhallauto.com/contact.php.) A lot of people do not know that service centers subscribe to data services that tell them exactly which parts and fluids meet manufacturers' specifications. These services are updated constantly so that your Washington D.C. automotive service center always knows what you need for your car. You can be assured that your vehicle will receive high quality replacement parts that'll keep you safely on the road.
Proper maintenance is so important to safety. It can also prevent costly repairs and save you money over the long haul. Just because you don't have to go to a dealer to get your maintenance service performed doesn't mean that you don't need to have it done at all. In fact, some protections from your warranty require that scheduled maintenance be performed. If you miss having important work done, you may lose some warranty coverage. Refer to your owners' manual and vehicle warranty for more details. And keep good records of the work you've had done.
The protection you receive under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act can save you hundreds of dollars each year. The average hourly labor rate for service is nearly twenty percent lower at independent service centers such as Hollin Hall Automotive. We are conveniently located at 7926 Fort Hunt Road in Alexandria. So why go anywhere else?
Posted in the Warranty category
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